Western & Eastern Europe is forecast to see minimal or negative GDP growth in the remainder of 2020.
European construction projects have, for the most part, slowly started to resume again. New safety requirements, social distancing and the need for personal protection have had an impact. A number of countries never stopped construction activities and others for the most part completely closed down for a period of more than 12 to 16 weeks. Construction activities in most countries are starting to move forward again as we transition into the 4th Q of 2020 and beyond.
The major countries of Europe, Germany, France, Italy and the UK construction sectors have struggled with COVID-19 since mid-March. Construction work has now gradually resumed on many construction sites across Europe, industrial construction worker productivity is forecast to be reduced due to mandated social distancing and new safety rules.
In the UK, the housing sector is expected to weather the COVID-19 storm, however new retail construction, hotels and office construction will be in the doldrums for at least the next 12 to 18 months. Germany, France and Italy are expected to see a similar situation.
Lots of European construction related organization are looking for future Government funded infrastructure investment in the next couple of months to help in weathering the downturn brought on by the pandemic.
A number large and mid-sized European construction related organizations have reduced home office staff and site based positions, the current view is that this could amount to between 15% and 25% of current staff.
Sweden has been the only major European country not to impose a shut down or social distancing. Worker absence has been somewhat higher, delays of various construction materials have caused some delays, however at most it has been minor nuisance at a few construction sites.
Europe has a high probability of falling into a long recession, many countries are on the edge of major downturn that could take years to for them to recover. It was reported in August that the UK is now in a deep recession.